Archive for April, 2020

Like many of you joining us at Around the Pound, I haven’t left the house in weeks barring a small handful of outings geared exclusively at picking up the essentials. And yet, despite what many would deem the confines of home, I’ve found myself more inspired than in the many months prior to rotating Sundays in pajamas (these are my current go-to) with a side of puzzles. From the coast of New England, I’m delighted to introduce our newest hallmark at TGL. Personally penned + curated by yours truly, ‘The Captain’s Catch’ provides you, TGL readers, direct access to my most well kept insider secrets – what I’m watching, where I’m wandering (virtually until further notice) + what I’m reading, i.e. the fuel that feeds my creative fire outside the office on any given day. Not dissimilar to the ‘direct from the dock‘ approach of providing access to the most local of local fare, I hope you’ll equally delight in the content I’ve curated. Paired with visual keepsakes I’ve been collecting herehere, it’s the perfect recipe to thrive, (note, not survive) in whatever life throws our way. Found something worthy of sharing or simply want to say hello? Feel free to send me a note, I’d love that too. xx, D

| watch | If #stayathome orders haven’t inspired you to curl up with a good book (or ten), perhaps this documentary will change your tune. For me, a lifelong bookworm, tucking into a quiet corner of an independent store is to willingly cocoon in the company of the written word for an afternoon; fast becoming the unicorns of the book world, these literary landmarks + their leaders face near extinction to mass retailers + digital devices. PSA: Newport’s beloved single-screen Jane Pickens Theater is streaming films that would have otherwise opened during this time; consider supporting local by watching The Booksellers + other indie films from the comfort of your own home (and no one to judge, er elbow you, over that second bowl of popcorn).

| read | You may recognize her of the Cali-based lifestyle brand that shares her given name, but we’re head-over-heels for Serena Dugan’s more recent venture, a namesake studio founded in pursuit of creating beautiful prints, patterns and artwork (all of which you’ll want to cover every available surface of your life with). In an interview with the industry go-to resource Business of Home, Dugan shares what inspired her to trade corporate culture for a return to her creative roots.

| wander | Museums may currently be closed, but many collections are far from off limits. Ever wondered what goes into opening a major exhibit, especially when the works of art aren’t of the framed kind? A behind-the-scenes tour of Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, the show that débuted at Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 2017, will forever alter your mindset about paying an entry fee. It’s filmed primarily in French (with subtitles), so while most of us won’t be traveling to Paris any time soon, at least for a fleeting hour we can feel akin to strolling the Champs-Élysées. And for my neatnik, paper-loving peeps (you know who you are), I have two words for you – Dior Archives.

| listen | It’s certainly no secret, we adore the work of Rhode Island furniture maker O & G. Under ‘normal’ settings, but particularly during these unprecedented times, navigating the high seas of small business ownership can feel like taking on the southernmost leg of the renowned Ocean Race. Two podcasts with brand co-founder + Creative Director Jonathan Glatt, 1) sharing how his small team is not only reinventing classics for contemporary living, but 2) adjusting their sails to survive the most important, and unanticipated, journey in their history.

| learn | House & Garden’s Calico Club has just the remedy to break up those long neverending #wfh hours – a series of thirty-minute morsels filled with creative content perfectly sized to schedule into your lunch hour (sublimely starting at 1pm EST). Last week we joined Gabby Deeming’s talk on textiles, next in the queue, a conversation on how to create a successful cutting garden. Let’s be honest my fellow Americans, a half hour of British accents are a welcome antidote to any stateside-led Webex and if we learn how to grow the perfect English garden or adore chintz as openly as any royal in the process, we might just survive this godawful pandemic afterall.

GHENT

April 18, 2020

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It’s looking to be quite some time before non-essential travel, particularly of the international kind, returns to anyone’s repertoire. For the sake of sanity, let’s trade the dread of packing for daydreams of the places we want to visit when borders reopen + passport stamps are reinstated as a desirable collectible. When planning our recent #tglfortiethfête, we knew a European adventure was in order to commemorate a new decade of circling the sun. Paris (because a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ gets us every time) was waiting in the wings, but a keen inclination to complement an extended stay in the City of Light with a special sojourn to a new destination was an underlying impetus to push our planning one step farther.

1898 The Post was the deciding factor (no arm-twisting required) to add the quaint Flemish city of Ghent to our itinerary. Add the ‘note’-able detail the hotel is housed in the city’s early 20th c. Post Office and you had us at snail mail. The smallest of three prominent Belgian cities, Ghent’s cobblestone streets, mixed with a rich textile history as a mercantile landmark for the middle-age wool and linen industries, made it the perfect destination to toast to ’40’. Aside from the aforementioned lodging, we made no plans for where to wander or what to eat, quite uncustomary from our standard #theoriginalgildedgetaway approach. Instead, we spent two days embracing good ‘ole-fashioned wanderlust spirit – no Google maps, zero pre-planned pins, just a mind wide open to the charm of each discovered walkway and wurst our path crossed.

To our sheer delight, Ghent is home to two unexpected gems on the subject of design and craftsmanship. If you’re a fan of letterpress or textiles (or better yet both, in which case we definitely need to meet), the Museum of Industry is a mecca for all things print + fibre-related. From paper printing to silk spinning, typesetting to weaving, it is not to be missed. A creative-in-spirit looking to test your hand at something tactile? Explore the museum’s series of workshops, perhaps even time your visit to participate since this is one souvenir you can’t bring back stateside.

For anyone who’s engaged in an Art History syllabus, you’ve likely been taught Flemish lineage has birthed some of the world’s most renowned artists, (van Eyck, Bruegel or Rubens ring a bell?). Hence, it’s no surprise Belgians appreciate, let alone laud, superior design and its founding principles that have transcended centuries of an evolving European culture. Spend a sunny afternoon wandering Design Museum Gent, with works housed in seamless synergy between an 18th c. mansion and a modern wing, not to mention Belgium’s only museum with an international design collection.

If you’re local (or a tired tourist looking to rest your toes), the museum’s serene inner courtyard is open to the public, perfect for quiet lunch dates or chocolate breaks, let’s be real, it IS Belgium after all. We highly recommend picking up a sweet treat from nearby chocolaterie Cédric Van Hoorebeke, who’s adorable corner shoppe includes ‘Chocolates, Business Gifts + Other Sweet Perfection’. When blowing out our candles over a cocktail at The Cobbler, we secretly made a wish that in our new decade, someone mighty would grant us the good graces to be the appointed purveyor of such an idyllic list. In times like these, who doesn’t need, or welcome, or long for chocolates, business gifts and other sweet perfections.

Until our suitcases come out of storage, be well fellow travelers, we’re all in this together.

Driving the back country roads and rolling hills of Litchfield County, one might pause to question if the view ahead is truly a slice of the Nutmeg State or the backdrop from a picturesque European postcard. Dotted with farms enveloped in fences and colonial homes clad in clapboard, the scene feels serendipitously set in a time-lapse somewhere between The Patriot and The Sound of Music.

Nestled in the tiny hamlet of New Preston, Plain Goods is a destination not only for Connecticut locals, but Manhattanites looking to trade cityscapes for landscapes, and vacationers passing through as they either enter or depart New England from the nearby state border. Originally located in a postage-size storefront on the edge of the village’s rolling waterfall, co-owners Michael DePerno and Andrew Fry had grander plans for their growing retail business, their sight set on a historic landmark a stone’s throw away that came on the market in 2018. Pavilion Hall, constructed in 1897 as a concert hall and celebration space for the Litchfield locals, had fallen into disrepair after sitting vacant for several years. A massive restoration ensued, not only expanding the team’s creative endeavor from a 700 sq.ft. cottage to a 6,000 sq.ft. hallmark for bucolic bliss, but earning the duo a 2019 Award of Merit from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

Immediately upon crossing the threshold, visitors are welcomed into a two-story forum of meticulous merchandising. Delicately curated vignettes set the stage for DePerno and Fry’s vision, to celebrate impeccable craftsmanship, purity of form and nature’s ever changing palette. That vintage brass pillbox you never knew you needed wanted? A hand-sourced assortment to select from. Antique china you thought worthy only of Sunday dinner at your grandmother’s? Suddenly, a desire to eat every meal, maybe even Kellogg’s, from hand-painted porcelain patterns. It’s the kind of storytelling that makes everyday living feel elevated. At times like these, when our homes have become havens from the outside world, who isn’t in need of a little less chaos and lot more cozy?

Since moving into the larger space, the offering has expanded to include a broader assortment of men’s, women’s + children’s apparel and accessories, and even accessories for the furriest of four-legged friends. Looking to stock your pantry? There’s options for your larder too – Plain Goods Provisions, a range of delectables guaranteed to ensure that artisanal loaf is loaded with the loftiest of jams and your brioche french toast is dappled with nothing less than Grade A Vermont Maple.

Brick + Mortar needs us more than ever right now, so while the doors of Pavilion Hall are currently closed, Plain Goods virtual storefront is always open for window shopping, or for those in more dire need during these anxiety ridden times, unabashed retail therapy.

Plain Goods | 17 East Shore Road | New Preston, CT

All images via Plain Goods.

CREATIVE CRUSH | APRIL

April 4, 2020

Given a very mild New England winter, we’ve officially diverted attention from flurries to fresh air – trees are budding, daffodils are making their debut + we’re secretly scheduling solo meetings with Mother Nature between #wfh conference calls and April showers. This month’s Creative Crush feels decidedly fresh; we’re firm believers a fashionable pop of citron is as satisfying as a twist of lemon in a five o’clock cocktail. For the foreseeable future, let’s keep washing our hands, stocking (please, no hoarding) our pantries and honor our homes as sacred spaces that keep us and our country safe. If a need to break-up with ‘breaking news’ is on your to-do list, or you’re simply looking for a five-minute sojourn from the daily stats, join us for a dose of inspiration, occasionally golden, always deliciously creative.

CREATIVE CRUSH | APRIL EDITION

Fashion with a splash of lemon. (@annarosakrau | @claudiepierlot)

Tasteful typography. (@flourist)

Wallflowers + floral frivolity. (@shopthelma | @markarian_nyc)

A show-stopping sink. (@framacph)

Feminine fisherman knits. (@lenamaria.s)

Pantry perfection. (@plainenglishkitchen)

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